Today there were three good pieces of news concerning the view of Mt. Fuji from Nippori Fujimizaka.
The first is that Arakawa Ward’s Road Maintenance Section kindly put in place a viewpoint marker in the shape of two feet that indicates the spot on Nippori Fujimizaka from which it is possible to catch a glimpse of Mt. Fuji. The idea for this first came about on “Mt. Fuji Day” which was held on February 23 this year. At that time, many people from within Japan and abroad came to catch an especially good view of the mountain. In anticipation of this, we put up a similar, temporary foot-marker. This was so successful that we petitioned Arakawa Ward to set up a permanent marker of the same kind. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to see Mt. Fuji from the spot during summer. The best time to catch a view of the mountain is during fall and winter. In any case, we’d like to extend a big thanks to Arakawa Ward for placing the viewpoint marker here. For all those who love Nippori Fujimizaka, this was a great gift.
Second, the Arakawa Ward Road Maintenance Section and Tourism Promotion Division have responded positively to our requests and have granted permission to hang photographs detailing the history of Nippori Fujimizaka on the fence along the walk-path side of the hill. For many years, the Citizens’ Alliance to Save the Fuji-View (CASF) had been holding temporary picture displays at the hill. Many local residents enjoyed these displays so much that they wished we could make them permanent. As a result of this, we petitioned Arakawa Ward to allow this and, eventually, were successful. If anyone has an old picture of the view of Mt. Fuji from Nippori Fujimizaka and wouldn’t mind having it hung along the hill-wall, please let us know.
Third, on the same day as the aforementioned announcement from Arakawa Ward, Japan ICOMOS issued its “Statement Regarding Preservation of the View of Mt. Fuji from the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery.” The statement emphasized the necessity of preserving views of Mt. Fuji and referred to the view of the mountain from the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery as “a cultural inheritance of unparalleled value.” This is significant in the context of the currently-ongoing construction of the nearby New National Olympic Stadium which threatens to encroach on this very view. Moreover, the statement calls to mind the 2011 ICOMOS Paris Resolution which recognized the view of Mt. Fuji from Nippori Fujimizaka as a cultural asset.
Although now it is only possible to see a small portion of Mt. Fuji from Nippori Fujimizaka (due to recent construction which blocked most of the view), even being able to catch a glimpse of the mountain like this is enough to give a sense of the powerful impact of the vista. Moreover, the building that was erected and blocked the view will eventually, in fifty years or so, reach the end of its structural lifespan. At this time, it is our hope that it will once again become possible to see Mt. Fuji, in all of its glory, from the hill. We at the CASF would like to think of this as our gift to future generations. In order to pass this gift on to later generations, we are continuing to call for the cooperation of the various involved Wards and of Tokyo City to help us preserve the hill.
(Translated by Justin Aukema)